Agoraphobic News conducted an interview with mainman Patrick Mameli of reactivated Dutch death metal veterans PESTILENCE prior to the band's February 12 concert at SKC Fabrikaon in Novi Sad, Serbia. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On PESTILENCE's new studio album, "Hadeon":
Patrick: "The new stuff is just, I guess, more of the same of PESTILENCE. It's not a 'part two' of anything, it's just like a combination of everything that I've done in the past and I guess, a little bit more simplified. So, going a little bit away from the progressiveness of the last two albums, I think. It's a little more straightforward."
On why PESTILENCE, who temporarily disbanded in 2014, but reformed in 2016, took so long to record the follow-up to 2013's "Obsideo":
Patrick: "It doesn't have anything to do with that we've been away to record an album. Within a year, I can write a new album, that's not it. It's finding the right people and getting a good record label. Once that was finished and done, we inked a deal and within a year, all the songs were done. Now we're here and the new album comes out March 9."
On the band's 1988 debut, "Malleus Maleficarum":
Patrick: "It was our first real album and back then, we were little bit more influenced by thrash and during the days when SEPULTURA was getting big and KREATOR and all these bands, so we still have really fond memories of that album, although we have progressed a lot since then. But, tonight, we're going to play four songs [from it] and they're still difficult to play because it has high thrash standards."
On whether he has ever taken influence from thrash metal bands when composing for PESTILENCE:
Patrick: "No. I'm not influenced by anything, really. I don't listen to metal. Of course, back in the day we did listen to metal. That's why, let's say, 'Malleus' and 'Consuming [Impulse]' kind of sound like certain bands. We were influenced by DEATH, INFERNAL MAJESTY and stuff like that. After those two albums, we didn't want to go in that direction anymore and we started to create our own style, I guess. With that new style comes, of course, your own lyrics that are more based on reality, what's happening nowadays in the world. That hasn't changed, although we touch sometimes religious subjects and anti things, anti church and stuff like that. But, we are not a gore band or bloody band or anything like that. We try to approach little more intelligent topics."
On the importance of the band's 1989 "Consuming Impulse" album:
Patrick: "That was the first, I guess, the first time we were actually thinking of what PESTILENCE could be like and trying to define your own style and sound. We always wanted to be the European answer to DEATH. I think that album was kind of setting the standard for us, although we listened too much to death metal at that time, so we didn't have totally our own style. It was developing still, but, we still had a long way to go. Finally, with 'Testimony Of The Ancients', I guess our most successful album to date, is when we started to create our own style which is what we're still doing now."
On the cover art for "Consuming Impulse", which reportedly was replaced at the last minute by Roadrunner Records without the band's consent:
Patrick: "That was our first encounter with Roadrunner Records where we thought, 'Well, those guys are really a bunch of idiots.' We had another album cover that kind of fitted the style and fitted the lyrics and everything. 'Consuming Impulse', I don't understand why 'Consuming Impulse' has anything to do with ants. They don't consume anything, but whatever. I don't get it. They told me that the album cover we had was too brutal for the mainstream American market, which we didn't care about anyway for any market, we just wanted to make good music. If it gets picked up because of our musical and creative integrity, that will be the case, but since they took that away from us and there was no communication whatsoever and it was just in the stores. We were just like 'Wow. How can you do that? Just take the creativity away from a band?'"
On the "dirty" production values found on "Consuming Impulse":
Patrick: "I had this little idea how to make it sound really, really dirty. It hadn't been done before. We just figured 'Let's try it.' It became a success. We put a flanger over both guitar signals throughout the whole album, which is unheard of to do something like that. This sound is all over the album and it's not too dominant there, but it makes the album sound really, really dirty."
On whether "Consuming Impulse" had an impact on the Swedish death metal scene:
Patrick: "I don't think those guys were influenced by us or Florida death metal. I think that they wanted to define themselves so they came up with their own raunchy sound. It works for them. It worked for bands like GRAVE. I still like the old demos, the older GRAVE and stuff like that, the old ENTOMBED, but as time passes on, you have to keep on exploring and reinventing your own style. But, we're more into the Florida scene because I think those bands were of a higher standard."
"Hadeon" is slated for a March 9 release via Hammerheart.
The new "Hadeon" cover artwork was created by Michal "Xaay" Loranc (BEHEMOTH, NILE, EVOCATION, VADER, NECROPHAGIST), a very talented Polish graphic designer who perfectly turned Mameli's visions and concept into art.
The previously released artwork for "Hadeon" was ditched in October amid accusations of plagiarism.
Guitarist extraordinaire Santiago Dobles (AGHORA, CYNIC, DOBLES ENSEMBLE) contributed some excellent solos to "Hadeon", but is not participating in live performances with PESTILENCE.
Replacing Dobles in PESTILENCE's current lineup is Calin Paraschiv. Calin hails from Romania and also plays in another project (NECROVILE) with current PESTILENCE drummer Septimiu Hărşan.
Patrick Mameli - Lead guitar/Vocals
Calin Paraschiv - Lead guitar
Tilen Hudrap - Bass
Septimiu Hărşan - Drums